Most-Googled Health Problems in Each State
Does your state search for the flu or are citizens more interested in cannabis? These are the terms most searched in your state!
Unfortunately, one of the first things we tend to do when we develop a sniffle or a cough is head straight to Google. Once there, it’s easy to go down a rabbit hole of links and articles that could cause you to think that you have anything from a cold to cancer. While it is oh-so-tempting to self-diagnose, you should always see a doctor when you feel ill or think there might be a problem with your health. The internet is not a substitute for proper medical care. Even though Google might not be able to tell us what it is exactly that’s ailing us, it can tell us what people are thinking in general about health and medicine.
Using Google trends, we can see what people all over the country are most concerned about. We can also see what illness seems to be affecting which part of the nation the most. Cannabis and cannabidiol saw a noticeable increase nationally this year compared to last, and ranking number one in quite a few. Going state by state, we can see that other concerns vary wildly from the flu to female Viagra. Think you might know what your state is Googling the most? You may be surprised! These are some of the most Googled terms we saw and the states that were the most interested.
Alabama – Pneumonia
Birmingham has been rated one of the worst cities for respiratory infections and Alabama is one of the 10 states with the highest rate of death from flu and pneumonia, overall.
Alaska – Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection is an infection in any part of the urinary system—the kidneys, ureters, bladder and/or the urethra. Most infections involve just the lower urinary tract—the bladder and the urethra. These infections are actually very common. They occur in one of every five women and 1-2% of children. Eight to ten million visits to the doctor each year in the U.S. are for urinary tract infections.
Arizona – Hashimoto’s Disease
Hashimoto's disease is the most common form of thyroid cancer in the United States. It affects more than ten million Americans and it is seven times more common in women than men.
Arkansas – Endometriosis
Endometriosis is a disorder that causes uterine tissue to grow outside of the uterus. The name of the disease was taken from the words endo which means inside, and metrium which means uterus. This disorder usually affects one in ten women of reproductive age and is most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 30 and 50.
California – Syphilis
No surprise here considering that in 2018, the number of Number of reported sexually transmitted diseases in California are up by 45% from just 5 years before. As a matter of fact, the number of new cases of syphilis being diagnosed across the U.S. is currently at a three-year high.
Colorado – Syphilis
Although the state rated 33rd in the country for primary and secondary syphilis, Colorado has seen an alarming rise in the syphilis rate over the past year. Colorado is currently seeing 14.6 cases per 100,000 people, which is a 61.5% increase from the years of 2013 and 2017
Connecticut – Quarter Life Crisis
In psychology, a quarter life crisis is a crisis involving anxiety over the direction and quality of one’s life such as one's relationships, careers, and overall life purpose. This usually occurs between the early 20s until the mid-30s, although it can happen as early as the age of 18. Interestingly enough, Connecticut's median age is at 41.
Delaware – Hypertension
In 2017, 34.9% of Delaware residents, age 18 and older reported they had been diagnosed with high blood pressure—aka—hypertension That equates to roughly 264,000 people, which probably accounts for the high rate of Google searches in the state.
Florida – HIV/AIDS
In the state of Florida for 2018 the most searched medical term was HIV/AIDS. That could be because the number of new cases identified in the state was 4,906. Although it was a raise of 200 cases from the annual norm of about 4,700 cases, it was actually a decrease in the case rate per capita from 24.1 to 23.4.
Georgia – Syphilis
In 2018, Georgia ranked 4th in the country for cases of Primary and Secondary Syphilis. Between 2000 and 2017, the annual reported cases rose from 400 to 1,439 throughout the state.
Hawaii – Hashimoto’s Disease
According to the American Cancer Society Cancer Statistics Center, in 2020 approximately 220 cases of some type of Thyroid cancer are expected to be diagnosed in Hawaii. With a population of 1,360,301 in 2018, that's a 1 in 16 chance of being diagnosed per 100,000 residents in the state.
Idaho – E. Coli
Escherichia coli is a large and diverse group of bacteria found in the environment, foods, and intestines of people and animals and can cause diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness, pneumonia, among other illnesses. In 2018, there was an E. coli outbreak that spanned 16 states, including Idaho. During this outbreak, 53 people became ill—10 of them from Utah.
Illinois – Syphilis
According to the CDC, more than 2.4 million cases of STDs are reported across the U.S. each year. More than 115,000 new cases of syphilis were reported across the country in 2018 which is up 71% since just 2014. Statewide, according to The Pantograph, a local newspaper, the number of new cases declined from 3,639 in 2017 to 2,795 in Illinois in 2018.
Indiana – ADHD
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Indiana is 4th out of the top five states with the highest ADHD diagnosis rate at 13% per capita.
Iowa – Binge Drinking
According to the CDC, Iowa is the 6th worst state in the country when it comes to binge drinking. As a matter of fact, when surveyed, 21% of people between the ages of 20 and 64 admit to drinking to excess.
Kansas – Diabetes
The number one cause of death in Kansas is heart disease, and the heart is one of the many organs that diabetes can adversly affect, so many residents may be worried about being diagnosed with diabetes and how to prevent it.
Kentucky – Hepatitis A
Every student in the state of Kentucky is required to get the hepatitis A vaccine because the state suffered the worst outbreak of the virus in the entire country in 2018. More than 1,000 cases were diagnosed resulting in eight related deaths being recorded last year.
Louisiana – HIV/AIDS
Louisiana was one of two states with the highest reported rate of reported HIV cases in the U.S. in 2018. However, in recent years the number of people being diagnosed has shown a downward trend from 1,107 people in 2016, 1,002 people being diagnosed in 2017, and just 972 residents diagnosed in 2018.
Maine – Rabies
In 2018 in Maine, 112 animals tested positive for rabies as compared to 67 cases in 2017 which may account for the uptick in interest that year since the last reported case of human rabies that occurred in Maine was in 1937. As a matter of fact, cases of human rabies in the United States are rare, with approximately 1-3 deaths reported annually.
Maryland – ADHD
9.4% of children in the U.S. between the ages of 2 to 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD, overall. Between 2003 and 2007 the prevalence in Maryland grew from 9.1% to 11.9% and then it grew again between 2007 and 2011 to 11.8% of children in the state. It is likely that the prevalence has grown enough between 2011 and 2020 to have more than some residents concerned.
Massachusetts – ADHD
Between 2003 and 2007 the prevalence of ADHD in Massachusetts grew from 8.5% to 9.8% and then again between 2007 and 2011 to 11.3%. Although the report hasn't been released yet, it is possible that the prevalence has grown again and parents throughout the state are online searching for treatment options.
Michigan – Endometriosis
Endometriosis affects an estimated 1 in 10 women during their reproductive years between the ages of 15 to 49. That is approximately 176 million women all over the world.
Minnesota – Hemorrhoids
Worldwide, the prevalence of symptomatic hemorrhoids is estimated at 4.4% in the general population. In the U.S., up to one third of the 10 million people with hemorrhoids seek medical treatment, resulting in 1.5 million related prescriptions per year.
Mississippi – Genital Herpes
Most people with genital herpes are not aware they have it because most people with the virus don’t show symptoms. However, the disease can still be transmitted even without signs or symptoms present. More than one out of every 6 people aged 14-49 have genital herpes.
Missouri – ADHD
Compared to several other states and the country as a whole, Missouri’s rate of children diagnosed with ADHD is pretty low at 8.6%.
Montana – Hypertension
Nearly one out of 2 adults in the U.S. has hypertension—that is 108 million Americans. High blood pressure can be dangerous. It increases the risk for heart disease and stroke—the two leading causes of death for people in the United States.
Nebraska – Anorexia
Anorexia nervosa is the official medical term for this eating disorder and it affects .3 -.4% of young women and approximately .1% of young men. This disorder is characterized by weight loss (sometimes severe) or lack of appropriate weight gain in children, along with a distorted body image. Apparently, some parents were concerned that their children weren’t eating enough in 2018 judging by the number of times Nebraska Google searched anorexia.
Nevada – Skin Cancer
In the state of Nevada in 2018, 790 residents were diagnosed with melanoma and 80 of those cases resulted in deaths. Beware if you visit! That hot desert sun can sure deliver some of the highest ultraviolet radiation levels in the country!
New Hampshire – ADHD
Between 2003 and 2011, trends in New Hampshire show that a growing percentage of children are being diagnosed with ADHD from 9.2 to 11.9%. If the trends have continued at this rate, it is predicted that New Hampshire will be above the 12% range if they haven’t already passed it.
New Jersey – Breast Cancer
New Jersey ranks among the top 10 states for breast cancer in the country, so it's no wonder it was the top searched medical term for the state in 2018.
New Mexico – PTSD
According to the New Mexico Department of Health, Post-traumatic stress disorder is the top medical condition being treated with medical marijuana in the state. In the world, it is possible that 10 of every 100 women and 4 of every 100 men will develop this disorder in their lifetime.
New York – Breast Cancer
New York State Health Department reports that for 2018, the most common cancer among women was Breast Cancer with more than 15,000 new cases being diagnosed and more than 2,600 subsequent deaths. In addition, approximately 150 men are also diagnosed with breast cancer in New York each year.
North Carolina – ADHD
ADHD rate in NC is above the national average of 8.8%, however the rate of children diagnosed with ADHD decreased in North Carolina between 2007 and 2011 from 12.8% to 11.6%. Although the American Psychiatric Association says that 5 percent of American children have ADHD, the CDC says that that number is higher at 11%.
North Dakota – Ear Infection
Many think that cold air can cause an ear infection. While it is certainly cold in North Dakota, the cold is not what causing the ear infections, but we bet that it’s not making them any better, either. Children are more likely to get an ear infection than adults, so be on the lookout for tugging of ears, loss of balance, and difficulty hearing if your child is too young to communicate.
Ohio – Syphilis
According to Innerbody Research, Ohio ranks 20th in the country, with 740 new cases diagnosed in 2018. It is believed that the rise in STD cases in the U.S. can be attributed to reduced access to STD prevention and care, and a decreased use of condoms.
Oklahoma – Diabetes
According to the CDC, Diabetes is growing at an epidemic rate in the U.S. as nearly 30 million Americans have diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, about 14 percent or approximately 451,888 of the adult population in the state of Oklahoma has been diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes.
Oregon – HIV/AIDS
Between 1999 and 2019, the annual number of cases of HIV/AIDS diagnosed in Oregon decreased from 267 to 230. However, it was recently discovered that 6 out of 10 people throughout the state have never been tested, and so the Oregon Health Authority launched a public campaign called “End HIV” that has brought new attention to the disease, which can probably account for the number of searches in 2018.
Pennsylvania – Syphilis
In 2018, Pennsylvania had 797 new cases diagnosed, ranking the state 38th in the U.S. for primary and secondary syphilis. The rise in STD diagnoses across the country has many experts feeling that all the progress made in the past towards lowering the transmission of STDs has all been unraveled at this point.
Rhode Island – Lupus
The scariest thing about lupus is that no one knows exactly what causes it or what it is. What they do know is that an unknown trigger causes a person’s immune system to attack their skin, joints, and organs. The National Resource Center on Lupus estimates that 1.5 million Americans are affected and that it’s about three times more prevalent in women of color.
South Carolina – Endometriosis
There is no specific reason that this number should be higher than any search in any other state, but with the number of women affected (176 mil) with endometriosis, it’s not hard to understand. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent endometriosis. However, there are some ways to reduce the chances of developing it like lowering the level of estrogen in the body. In order to do that, though, we strongly recommend you discuss how best to go about that with your doctor.
South Dakota – Insomnia
According to NPR.org, scientists can’t figure out exactly how chronic sleeplessness works, why it affects more women than men, or people over the age of 65. They do know that it does affect more than 60 million Americans each year and no one agrees on exactly how to treat the disorder. In 2018, 26.1% of adults reported sleeping less than seven hours in a 24-hour period on average.
Tennessee – Strep Throat
According to several news reports from around middle Tennessee earlier in the year, strep throat was running rampant through the elementary schools. This could probably account for the reason there was such an uptick in searches this year. Strep throat is a highly contagious bacterial infection that causes high temps, sore throats, and swollen lymph nodes. Usually, the infection stops being contagious 24 hours after the first dose of antibiotics and life can go on again.
Texas – ADHD
According to the CDC, the number of children in Texas diagnosed with ADHD increased between the years 2007 and 2011 from 4.2 to 9%. That puts the state just slightly above the national rate of 8.8%. Although ADHD is generally diagnosed during childhood and can be carried into adulthood, there is evidence that suggests that adults can develop the disorder as well.
Utah – Hashimoto’s Disease
According to the American Cancer Society Cancer Statistics Center, it is estimated that approximately 580 cases of Thyroid Cancer will be diagnosed this year. Since Hashimoto’s disease is the most common thyroid cancer, we can assume that this is the reason for the recent surge in Google searches in Utah.
Vermont – Opioid use disorder
According to drugabuse.gov, in 2018, drug overdose deaths in Vermont totaled 153, a rate of 26.6 per capita. This number has remained steady since 2016. According to the CDC, Vermont is the 16th highest state in the country for opioid mortality rates, explaining the state’s interest in opioid use disorder.
Virginia – ADHD
Between 2007 and 2011, the number of children with current cases of ADHD grew from 8.2% to 9.1%, but surprisingly in 2011 Virginia only reported that 6.6 percent of children were currently taking medication for ADHD. This could mean that parents were searching for more homeopathic ways in which to treat their children’s disorder such as meditation and/or yoga.
Washington – Body Dysmorphia
Body dysmorphia is a mental illness in which the afflicted cannot stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in their appearance. About one in 50 people suffer from this disorder. It usually develops in adolescence and affects males and females almost equally.
West Virginia – Porn Addiction
We’re sure we don’t really need to spell this one out, but we will say that the topic itself is controversial. Many experts argue that compulsive watching of pornography does not constitute an addiction. In one study, a doctor described pornography addiction as “when porn use becomes so intense in frequency or duration, it start to interfere with the other aspects of a person’s life” such as losing a job or ending a committed relationship.
Wisconsin – ADHD
Although the percent of children in Wisconsin who have been diagnosed is at 11.2%, the number of children who have been diagnosed in the state and are currently on medication is just at 6.1%. It seems more and more parents are trying to find more organic methods to treating the disorder.
Wyoming – Flu
For the 2017/2018 flu season, Wyoming saw 27 deaths, including one child, almost doubling that of the 2016/17 flu season. That year, the Wisconsin Health Department received a total of 10,009 laboratory confirmed positive flu test results. That wasn’t the worst year that Wyoming has seen recently. Back in 2015, Wyoming had a total of 99 deaths related to flu and/or pneumonia. The flu was one of Wyoming’s leading causes of death that year.